A Curse on Meridell
Yarce was different than Aphridite. Yarce was a beautiful faerie Aisha while her sister was an elegant royal. Aphridite was born for the throne, she was raised to be Queen. Yarce on the other hand, the second sister, would always be just a princess. She didn't have much interest in balls, fancy dresses or politics in the court anyways. Her true passion was gardening. While Aphridite was in her classes learning five different Neopian languages, performing in piano recitals and reading in her diplomatic relation lessons, Yarce was usually found outside in the the fields, digging up dirt to plant seeds.
Her parents were horrified at her behavior, Yarce would show up to her own classes covered in dirt, with mud in her thick, blonde braids. She showed up to her own birthday ball in torn jeans and gardening gloves because she forgot the date. The townspeople and neighboring kingdoms all knew of the rebellious princess and constantly made a mockery of her. But she didn't care, there was something special about being outside with the breeze flowing through her hair and she felt like nothing could make her quite as happy as seeing a flower that she had planted, bloom. Her parents eventually understood, and knew that Yarce needed to find her own path in life.
Many many years later, after Aphridite was crowned the Queen and their parents took off to keep up relations with other kingdoms around the world, Yarce began to feel troubled. Her small plot of land she was allotted would not grow anything. As soon as the plant grew large enough and was close to blooming, overnight it died and shriveled up in it's place. The dirt grew hard and dry.
She went to the market one day to try to sell and trade her vegetables. They were from her last harvest before her garden grew into a massive failure. The potatoes were small and shriveled with huge black pits, and the onions an off-purple color with a bitter flavor. She was ashamed to sell such poor quality product, but this was her way of obtaining new seeds from the surrounding areas. Everyone passed by, even her regular customers who would trade potato bulbs for her flowers.
Then, she saw someone new. A dark, hooded figure in dark green approached. Yarce would later discover her to be Ilere, the mysterious earth faerie. Ilere asked what happened to her vegetables, and Yarce told her about the sudden loss of her crops. Ilere immediately advised that the kingdom of Meridell was in serious trouble. She instantly grabbed Yarce's hand and they returned to the castle together.
The guards were astonished when Yarce brought Ilere to the gates, they thought her to be mad. But Yarce continued anyway, and showed Ilere the plot of land her garden once flourished in. Ilere frowned, she had seen this before. Ilere explained to the Queen and her council members of the dangers to come. At first the council laughed and thought it was a joke, but Aphridite and Yarce glared at them. As she described the devastation that would ensue, they took her more seriously.
Ilere explained that over a hundred years ago, a curse was put on Meridell by Jhudora, inspired by her hatred of Illusen and all earth faeries. The curse lasted 5 years, and in this time crops would not grow, animals and people would starve, and the kingdom would fall. Ilere was able to stop her last time, but she wasn't so sure about this time. Jhudora has grown stronger and has more hatred than ever for her sister.
Aphridite then looked at Yarce with sorrow in her eyes. Yarce looked back with the same look, the curse already took a hold of her garden. They would need to stock pile enough food for 5 years, but she was already too late. She couldn't grow anything as it was.
Illusen appeared in a puff of green smoke outside by the garden and shook her head. This would take a lot of magic indeed. She went inside the castle and nodded her head at Ilere. Together, they asked Yarce for her most valued possession. Yarce went into her room, and retrieved a diamond tiara. This, a symbol of who she was meant to be, but couldn't ever really be. It was special to her because it was given to her by her mother when she was young, and had intricate details of flowers painted in silver surrounding the large diamonds.
Illusen took this and pulled out the diamond. She closed her eyes, and it began to glow. Ilere grabbed the tiara and did the same. They returned the treasures to Yarce, and instructed her to plant them on the next rainy day. They then disappeared, the exuded magic they used left them weak and barely able to fly. They left the sisters to take matters into their own hands.
Aphridite immediately sent out orders to her council members to prepare the kingdom for the worst. Reinforce homes and shelters, have farmers grow crops and hearty vegetables, and make sure trade routes with Brightvale were clear.
Two days later, a heavy downpour began. A storm was passing through, as thunder roared throughout the night sky. Yarce grabbed the two glowing items. She dug a hole on each side of the castle and covered the items in dirt, hopeful that they did something to them that would help save Meridell.
As she stood to walk away from the tiara blessed by Ilere, she froze. She couldn't move. She fell and felt paralyzed. She then began to float, her fur turned into a beautiful blue color. Her dress turned into knee-length flowy green dress covered in sparkles that resembled petals of a flower, and she grew large pink wings. The rain ceased, and she found herself glowing a faint white glow and faerie dust following her every move.
Aphridite watched from inside the castle and stood in amazement. Ilere had granted Yarce magical faerie abilities. She looked her hands over, then knelt down to touch a nearby tree. The tree, with it's leaves beginning to rot and the wood starting to die, suddenly transformed. It grew tall, the leaves turned bright green and giant, juicy, red apples grew from the branches and fell all around her. She knelt down to touch the grass and the dying yellow spots turned green, lively and strong.
Yarce looked up at Aphridite and danced in happiness. She ran throughout the courtyard, touching everything she could, and became surrounded by flowers of all colors. She went to the other garden plot, where the diamond was planted. She knelt down and touched the soil, and a small bud appeared. It continued to grow faster and faster, until huge rose vines grew up the walls of the castle. The roses were beautiful, the red roses had petals made of ruby and the whites of crystal, each leaf and stem made of beautiful emerald.They all glowed and sparkled, they were truly magical. The sisters couldn't understand the purpose of the roses at the time, but they were beautiful and extremely grateful for such beauty to help them survive challenging times.
Yarce's new magical abilities allowed her to cover the entire grounds of the castle in fields of crops. On the east grew huge apple orchards. After the apples were picked, juice was harvested and then frozen. The wood would eventually be used to keep the townspeople warm with fire. On the north side, grew potatoes, corn, tomatoes, sunflowers, marrow, and squashes of all shapes and sizes. On the west grew oranges, bananas, grapes, melons, and other fruits. The townspeople collectively took the ingredients and helped preserve them to last the duration of the curse. The south side of the castle grew beautiful flowers that were traded with neighboring kingdoms for clothing, wood, medicine and animals. This was Yarce's favorite place, especially after she discovered tulip bulbs growing in a rainbow of colors.
Time went on, about a year after the curse began they discovered that the townspeople were starting to become affected by the curse. They had more than enough food thanks to the flourishing garden of the castle, but past the castle walls nothing was green or sunny. It was cold, dark, snowy and the earth around them got drier and more brittle by the moment. A purple and green hue haunted the night sky. Their houses began to freeze, the wind would seep through the cracks and blow out their fires no matter how hard they tried to reinforce the walls. They would not last another 4 years. The castle however, was unaffected.
Aphridite heard about a sick child in the kingdom and decided to village. The child was indeed very ill, the nights too cold and a fever medicine wouldn't cure. She had the child brought to the kingdom, where after one night, the child was cured of her ailments. The child asked if she could take a rose with her, after seeing them growing around her guest room window. Yarce and Aphridite looked at each other and were unsure, they didn't know what would happen. They agreed, hoping to make the little girl happy. She smiled as she broke off the rose, and watched as another grew back in it's place.
The girl kept the flower in her room, and the family found that their home no longer faced any troubles it did before. Their house stayed warm, the fire stayed lit, and the rain stopped pouring through their rooftop.
Eventually, the sisters hand-delivered a rose to each citizen in the kingdom. The roses were enchanted and provided protection to each home. While the sky was still dark and gloomy, and rain still flooded the pavement of the streets, the citizens could survive until the end.
Jhudora would eventually find out of the meddling of her sister and Ilere, and she tried to do more to antagonize the kingdom, but her efforts were thwamped. Ilere and Illusen already used an immense of precautionary magic to keep the kingdom safe. So much so, that it made them very weak, but they would eventually recover. They were celebrated as heroes to the people of Meridell.
Years passed, and the curse ended. A giant rainbow covered the sky as the rain ceased and the purple and green sky faded. The trees, soil, plants and grass all turned bright, lively and green again. Yarce's magical ability to create beauty and life kept her kingdom fed. Yarce gave the townspeople seeds from her garden, to help them grow fruits and vegetables of their own.
She then transformed most of the castle grounds into a huge flower garden. She spent a long time creating a large park where citizens could come in and tour her garden, the full trail exceeding over a mile with benches, maps, statues and fountains. She created a large greenhouse, where she works to create new flowers and plants, specializing in those with healing and beneficial health qualities. She also made flowers that can sing!
Then she created a lovely outside coffee and pastry shop she operates along with her sister, with cafe seating in the perfect spot to see the diamond and ruby roses growing.
The kingdom of Meridell flourishes under the watchful eyes of the Aisha sisters and they have preparations in place incase of another curse.
Little did they know, soon their enemies would seek the diamond and ruby roses...